Ex-minister explains Umno’s decision to consider withdrawing support for Perikatan Nasional
KUALA LUMPUR – Selective court prosecution. Unfair distribution of cabinet positions. Appointments to key posts without consultation.
These are some of the key frustrations openly acknowledged by Umno’s six-term MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz on his party members’ opposition to Bersatu.
He said the incidents had led an “enraged” Umno leadership to consider withdrawing the party’s support from the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) yesterday.
Speaking to The Vibes, Nazri said many are distressed by Bersatu’s strong-arm decisions during and after the recent Sabah election, especially when it had its own members appointed to the coveted chief minister’s seat.
Nazri, a former federal minister, said there has been an “unequal” application of justice against Umno leaders under the PN government led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president.
He said while Umno agrees that the law must be allowed to take its course, members have questioned the motive behind decisions to prosecute their leaders but not those from other PN component parties.
“While we support that we must uphold the rule of law with regards to Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, we want to know what happened to the investigation into a government leader’s sex tape?” he asked, referring to ongoing court cases against the two Umno leaders.
“There is also the issue of alleged buying off of Umno leaders to jump to Bersatu.
“Why have the authorities discontinued investigations into the matter? There must be no selective prosecution.
“This is what the Umno leadership and the grassroots are especially enraged about.”
In a statement last night, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan announced that the party is considering pulling its support for PN and will demand new terms for political cooperation.
He had said the new terms have to be agreed upon in writing for implementation as soon as possible, while proposing for Muafakat Nasional to be registered immediately.
Umno’s principal partner in Muafakat Nasional is PAS.
Unfairly treated on issues concerning cabinet positions
Nazri said many in Umno are unhappy at how the party has been treated in regard to positions.
For one, he said Bersatu has been given the most cabinet positions despite Umno having the most number of parliamentary seats among PN parties.
“Additionally, many are not satisfied that the party had to make way for Bersatu in a number of seats during the recently concluded Sabah election.”.
Nazri also said Umno felt aggrieved that Bersatu has started demanding for, and taken over, a number of village chief positions traditionally belonging to Umno.
He said the move is proving to be divisive for the party, especially at the grassroots level.
“Finally, there is the issue of appointments of Umno leaders as officers under Bersatu politicians, without first consulting us, like the recent case in Perak,” he said.
Nazri was referring to Umno’s Pengkalan Hulu assemblyman Datuk Aznel Ibrahim’s appointment as political secretary to Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, a Bersatu leader, two days ago.
“These are just attempts to divide us. So, of course, we are not happy. Don’t try to insult or divide us.”
Amar Shah Mohsen– The Vibes